Friday, October 29, 2010

People of Walmart .

Oh it is fun going shopping to a supermarket and being amazed at the dress sense of other customers. Some are rather attractive to look at and others are rather sad. The sights you see in your local supermarket very often bring a smile to your face and quite often a throbbing to your groin. The fan website People of Walmart highlights the diversity of customers shopping in these supermarkets. Yes, there is something for everyone, young and old, fat and thin.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bring back the BIG BOLD TYPE .

The destination displays made by Hanover Displays are a good piece of kit that is used throughout the passenger transport industry all around the world. These destination displays can be programmed just how the operator wants, to make best use of these large screens that fit across the top of the windscreen in their buses and coaches.

For years now we have proudly displayed in a very large pitch the route number and final destination of the service we are running under contract for the nationwide company. Because of the size of these destination displays, anyone can see the route number and final destination from a very long way off. This is great for both passengers and staff, as you can spot your target coach a very long way off.

But now the nationwide company has had a bad idea and has ordered it's contractors to reprogramme the displays. All coaches must now display the other major destinations that the coach serves. The result of this means that the pitch of the route number and final destination has been reduced to half it's original size. I think this is a bad idea for 5 reasons.

The route number and final destination is half the original size. This makes the information only half as visible as before and everyone will not be able to spot it from a fair distance away.

What is the point of displaying destinations that the coach has already passed through earlier in the day? The history of the journey is of no use to intending passengers, they do not care where the coach has come from.

Passengers can read the "via somewhere text" and assume the coach is going there. This will not be the case if the coach is mid-route and has already gone through their destination. I can imagine the arguments with passengers particularly in Birmingham at 11.15 when they want to go to Leeds or Sheffield. I will tell them that their coach left at 11.00 and they will reply that my destination display shows via Leeds and Sheffield!

What is the point of showing passengers that their coach goes via Newport on the way to London? Passengers do not travel with the nationwide company between Cardiff and Newport because the local buses are more frequent and offer a better service. It is obvious to passengers waiting to board in Newport that the coach goes via Newport because they have bought a ticket in advance and are stood on the platform!

It is child's play to spot a route number and final destination of the service the passenger wishes to board. To display "via locations" is simply dumbing down and insulting the intelligence of the passenger! All tickets clearly show the route number of the service the passenger needs to board. Even if the passenger does not know one end of our country to the other, the driver will always tell the passenger that they want the coach going in the opposite direction if they make that silly mistake!

So, we now have destination displays that are only half as good as they were because the nationwide company has had a silly idea that was not thought through.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Charlotte sings barefoot .

I was watching the Graham Norton show on television last Friday night and one of his guests was a Cardiff girl called Charlotte Church. She sat on the sofa with 2 other guests and took part in this quite ordinary chat show. Because Charlotte Church is a successful singer, she was also booked to sing her new song called "Don't Think About It". So Graham finished his chat with Charlotte and the other 2 guests and then invited Charlotte to walk over to the stage and sing the song from her new album. But Charlotte did not simply walk across the studio, she took off both of her shoes, left them next to the sofa and walked barefoot to the stage!

Well, I was amazed! WOW! Charlotte walked across the studio on national television barefoot. She sang her song on the stage barefoot and proudly walked back barefoot to the sofa for the end of this programme. Well done girl, walking barefoot in the posh BBC studio appeared so very naughty yet also very sexy. It was very refreshing to watch Charlotte sing and walk barefoot on television. It was a joy to see her little Welsh toes naked on the studio floor and this brightened up my evening. Thank you Charlotte, it was nice to see that you have the confidence to appear and perform barefoot on television which can be rather stuffy and old-fashioned at times.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Temple of Steve.

There is an advertisement running on television at the moment for Seven Seas. Because of my first name this advertisement gets Gail and I laughing out loud, big time! Just how these actors are giving praise to Steve is really funny, with Gail and I relating to their chants for Steve. There are two reasons for this, neither of which is vanity! Gail once had a dream that all these women were calling out my name trying to attract my attention. Her dream may have been inspired by an old story I told her about school girls who sat on Tockington Green crying out Steve as I drove past in my coach. All my followers worshipping me... the Temple of Steve.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Look Buttie, catch the X4.

Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, was derided today for having called on the unemployed to get on the bus in order to seek work. Duncan Smith said he wanted people to make a "reasonable effort" to take available work, even if it had to be found elsewhere. Speaking on BBC2's Newsnight, Duncan Smith said: "There was a very good programme the other day that talked about Merthyr Tydfil and the fact there were jobs in Cardiff; But many of them [the unemployed in Merthyr] had become static and didn't know that if they got on a bus for an hour's journey, they'd be in Cardiff and could look for the jobs there. My point is we need to recognise the jobs don't come to you."

...Yes, that's right Iain, Stagecoach run an X4 bus service from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff for the unemployed to gain work here in Cardiff. The first bus from Merthyr Tydfil is at 0610 and has a peak frequency interval of every 15 minutes. The X4 bus service returns from Cardiff every 15 minutes until 17.50, then at 18.20 followed by once an hour until 23.05

I agree with Iain on this issue, the unemployed of Merthyr Tydfil should make a reasonable effort to find work and a one hour bus journey in my opinion is an acceptable journey to work. Many commuters in the South East of England would love a journey to their workplace of just one hour. So, come on Buttie, get your arse on the X4 and come on down to Cardiff to get work rather than sitting at home on benefits that I pay for, so that you can watch daytime television in your baggy sports clothing.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Children should not throw stones at passing cars.

All around the world children can be a confounded nuisance, some children enjoy threatening motorists. These children can be rather intimidating as they ambush the surprised motorist with their aggressive stance and stone throwing. These children made a mistake with their ambush and one child simply got what he deserved. I have no sympathy for this lout and his anti-social behaviour. These are the same morons who put obstacles on railway lines in an attempt to derail a train for their amusement.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blow me over, big boy!

Oh you drive along our motorways and look at those little lightweight vans. You think to yourself as the wind blows across the carriageway "It would not take much to blow one of those over now, would it?"...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Something poor people do?

I am a non smoker and I have never smoked. I am pleased that our government has banned smoking in enclosed public places. This makes for a better life for everyone. Now Ash Scotland is calling for smoking to become illegal in private cars. Now, this post is not about personal freedom but some of the data used in Ash Scotland's arguments. The report "Beyond Smoke Free" showed that the highest smoking rates are found in the poorest communities, with rates in the most deprived areas at 43% compared with 9% in the least deprived. In Scotland's most deprived areas, 32% of deaths are due to smoking compared to just 15% in the least deprived.

So, there you have it, smoking is something that poor people do. If you look around outside you will see these people smoking in doorways, they never appear to be enjoying their filthy habit. These people are poor in the financial sense and poor in common sense also. There is a lot of criticism of Britain becoming a nanny state but these poor people should be encouraged to understand that there are better things in life to enjoy rather than their disgusting, dirty and life reducing habit of smoking.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dog Urinates On Bride!

Dogs do funny things and like to mark their territory. Oh, what's this? Something new, oh I must leave a mark!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wetlands by Charlotte Roche .

The first sentence of this novel begins...

As far back as I can remember, I've had hemorrhoids.

...and on page 12 Charlotte writes...

Just don't wash too much. For one thing because of the all-important flora of the pussy. But also because of the taste and scent of the pussy, which is so important during sex. Don't want to get rid of that. I've experimented with long periods of not washing my pussy. My aim is to get it's enticing scent to waft lightly out of my pants, even through thick jeans or ski pants. Men won't consciously notice it but it'll register subliminally since we're all just animals who want to mate - preferably with someone who smells like pussy.

...and on page 14 Charlotte writes...

I use my smegma the way others use their vials of perfume. I dip my finger into my pussy and dab a little slime behind my earlobes. It works wonders from the moment you greet someone with a kiss on each cheek.

...Wetlands has caused a lot of controversy. It has 229 pages and was written in 2008 in German. It was translated into English by Tim Mohr in 2009. Being interested in books that cause a stir, I bought a copy. You meet Helen Memel, an 18 year old admitted to hospital following an intimate shaving accident. Wetlands is very light reading. It is a little, short story book but is very funny and is like a stand-up comedian. Wetlands is a good book and I will vote it 4 stars on Book Army . It is written in the first person, it is very entertaining and an easy read. Wetlands tackles views on personal hygiene, fashion and sex. It gives the reader a refreshing thought of a lively young woman who is fresh, youthful, exciting, ready and able to challenge convention. She demonstrates a joy for living and she is very comfortable in her own body. I enjoyed reading this novel, it is adult in it's content, rather graphic, quite erotic, it is not offensive but quite good fun. There is a sub-plot going on where Helen tries to lengthen her hospital stay in the hope that she can get her divorced parents to get back together. The structure and pace of this story is good. The whole time frame of this novel is set within Helen's hospital stay, yet this story does not feel claustrophobic. There is a good ending where you feel great sympathy for Helen as she is discharged from hospital.

Wetlands is not so much a novel in the conventional sense, it is more like a one-off stand-up comedy routine. It is well put together though. It is a nicely told tale that makes men wonder about the secrets of women as they walk past. Is she spotlessly clean or feral but sexy?

Friday, October 15, 2010

When the law changed here in the UK to prohibit smoking in enclosed public spaces, the legislation also stated that the approved "no smoking sign" was also displayed. This caused disquiet among some "managers" of establishments were smoking had never been allowed, like churches. All enclosed public spaces then had to proudly display the approved government "no smoking sign" but someone decided to add some words of protest to their mandatory sign!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Death of a friend .

Matthew Thomas (on the left) with David Rhys Evans (on the right) before their night out in Bangkok.

It is almost two weeks now since I read the very sad news that David Rhys Evans (pictured on the right, above) has died. His unexpected and sudden death was a great shock to me. It has taken me this long to come to terms with David's death and write this blog post in his memory. I have known David Evans for many years as a coach driver at the Veolia Transport Cymru depot in Treforest, where I worked alongside him doing the National Express contract.

David was a very popular driver who will be sadly missed by all the other drivers on the National Express contract. David was a driver of the old school, from an era where service to the passenger was the top priority rather than the glossy, league tabled customer-focused circus our industry has turned into today. David was a good driver who believed in doing things right, right for the driver, right for the passenger and right for the company. I remember the days before the wearing of seat belts became mandatory, David saying to me one day that it was only me and him in the whole depot who always wore their seat belt. David was not just a good bloke but also a sensible bloke.

David always liked his holidays and being a bachelor, he could afford to have more holidays than everyone else. I always enjoyed listening to the tales of his holidays. The many hotels he had stayed in, the people he had met, the trains he had travelled on. Tales of the humourous incidents he encountered and wonderful excursions he went on, like the one involving the war tunnels in Cambodia. David enjoyed many holidays in the Far East and by keeping costs down he managed to enjoy longer and longer holidays each year. David would leave our depot in the autumn each year and return the next year in the spring to resume his job driving coaches on the National Express contract. David's return each spring would bring a ray of sunshine into our depot at Treforest and it would really brighten up the mood of our workforce. David really enjoyed his time away in the Far East and he always brought back that hedonistic lifestyle with him. I remember many years ago swapping coaches in London with the Liverpool drivers. One day the Liverpool drivers looked shocked, because they had not met David before. They asked me what the score was with David, because they spotted he was barefoot! Ah! I assured them, David is a good bloke and because he has spent a lot of his time in the Far East, that is why you see him barefoot today!

Sadly when somebody dies you always wonder what they leave behind. The memory David Evans leaves me is one of a joy for life and a hedonistic lifestyle. That we in Britain are very lucky with our high standard of living and that many people throughout the Far East have been born into a lifetime of poverty. We should live each day and count our blessings because we do not know what is around the corner.

Looking at the old emails that David sent me when he was away on holiday brings me to tears. Reading those emails again is just like standing next to David and talking to him in the bus garage. David Rhys Evans went off on holiday but sadly by the end of September he died. David went to the Philippines and it appears he was electrocuted in the shower. Health and safety is rather different in the Far East. The news of his death has shocked everyone at Veolia Treforest. Like most coach operators there will always be a staff turnover and drivers get used to this. But when you loose one of your own in death, it really hurts. Most of our drivers really enjoy foreign holidays and shamefully we have all had that painful yet private thought, that could have been me and what a dreadful way to go. We were all shocked to be reminded that you never know just what is around the corner.

My thoughts are with David's surviving family and friends. I am sorry for their loss and David will be very sadly missed from our workforce at Veolia Treforest.

Assalamu alaikum.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Yeo Valley rap video .

I enjoy eating the organic yogurts from the Yeo Valley dairy in Somerset. Imagine my surprise when watching the X Factor on television and in one of the advertisement breaks along comes this video .

Well, I think this video is a hoot! I am not a lover of rap music but this video is a classic. I think the music is spot on for the video and the attitude is right for the product. The humour in the lyrics is subtle and it is nice to see natural looking people in an advertisement rather than squeaky clean glamour models. Well done guys, I like your video and your organic yogurts.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blown apart by a suicide vest .

A British aid worker died after her kidnappers in Afghanistan detonated a bomb vest as American troops tried to rescue her, it has emerged. The mission to save Linda Norgrove from her captors was authorised by Foreign Secretary William Hague, officials said. The Government defended the decision to launch the military assault, saying it was "right to try" to secure the release of Ms Norgrove, a 36-year-old aid worker from Scotland. Originally from Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands, Ms Norgrove was seized by militants in Kunar province on September 26. After a tip-off revealed her whereabouts, US troops in the eastern province were sent in. During the fighting, seven insurgents were shot dead, it is believed. But Ms Norgrove was killed by her captors before she could be secured and led to safety. According to reports, Ms Norgrove was either wearing the bomb vest or it had been held close to her before being detonated.

Linda Norgrove taught herself to speak Dari, an Afghan version of Persian, to help her to talk to the locals. Trudy Rubin, a journalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, who spent time with Miss Norgrove while reporting on DIA’s work in Afghanistan in May, said Miss Norgrove “knew all the staff on the ground, and could talk to all the farmers. “She seemed to be totally comfortable with everyone, with the elders, with women, with everyone, and she really listened to Afghans. She dressed with total modesty, with long black robes and a headscarf.” Miss Norgrove had grown to love Afghanistan, so much so that, while working in Laos last year, she spent three weeks of her annual leave in Afghanistan, trekking in the Pamir mountains in the far north-east of the country.

...This story really saddens me, for all Linda wanted to do was help. She was an aid worker, not a military combatant. She knew the risks of working in Afghanistan but she took those risks on board so that she could help the people who have so little. For her captors to kill her during the failed rescue attempt is evil. Her captors kidnapped Linda to gain money but by killing Linda they valued her life as worthless. For people to kill others in the way Linda died, makes me angry at the knowledge of how low mankind can exist. My thoughts are with her parents in Scotland and her co-workers still working in Afghanistan.

Assalamu alaikum.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Get your coffee-coloured arse on my coach!

Sugababe Amelle Berrabah has been banned from motoring for 14 months after admitting drinking and driving. Representing the singer, James O'Brien, told the court that due to the media interest in her she would find it difficult to use public transport. "Because of her rather unusual situation, her use of public transport will be difficult if not impossible," he said. "She tends to draw huge interest and huge crowds wherever she goes. She finds that personally quite disturbing and she finds it threatening at times. If she were to use public transport she would fear for her own safety and the safety of others."

...Well then James O'Brien, I find your defence of Amelle Berrabah rather silly. Using public transport is really easy for everyone and I doubt if other passengers would recognize Amelle Berrabah. Yes, Amelle will have a fan base but that fan base will go to her concerts and will not be travelling on the same inter-city coach or local service bus as Amelle. Paparazzi photographers do get about a lot, generally at glamourous locations, not your local bus stop. Yes, there are often photographers at many of the bus stations around the country but these people are bus spotters and would not recognize Amelle Berrabah if she stood in front of them. I have seen many photographs of coaches on the internet but rarely can you make out the driver because the bus spotter is only interested in the coach and not the driver. I find it impossible to believe that Amelle would find public transport quite disturbing and threatening at times, or that if she were to use public transport she would fear for her own safety and the safety of others. Public transport is safe and easy. There is nothing disturbing about travelling on a bus or coach and you will not be threatened by anyone. If anyone starts to bother you, simply approach the driver and the situation will be resolved straight away. There is no problem with your safety or the safety of others but remember to wear your seat belt on coaches, rather than ignore the driver's safety announcement. Amelle has already broken the law once by drink driving, it would be really silly for her to be fined £30 for not wearing a seat belt! Public safety is monitored and protected by CCTV on almost all buses and coaches. Companies claim that the CCTV is for the safety of passengers but it is really to protect operators from fraudulent insurance claims from those passengers.

So James O'Brien, I reject your silly defence of your client and I think that Amelle Berrabah should get her coffee-coloured arse on my coach!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Another voice against satnav .

So, it is just not me then! Yesterday in the Independent newspaper, regular columnist Brian Viner wrote about map-reading, passers-by and satnav...

I know octogenarians who speak of their satnavs at least as fondly as they speak of their grandchildren. For many drivers, GPS has become more indispensable than the radio, and only fractionally less than the steering wheel. But not for me. Even a couple of my writer friends who still use typewriters have satnav systems in their cars, but my equivalent of their battered Olivettis is the 2007 AA Road Atlas of Great Britain.

Why have a disembodied voice telling you to turn right in 500 yards when you can reach the same conclusion by reading a map, or alternatively by asking an old man with a dog? Obviously there's an answer to that: GPS enthusiasts cite ease and convenience. But I'm not entirely comfortable with a culture that increasingly throttles the need for personal initiative. Moroever, I have, through my car window, met some very nice old men with dogs.

...Oh yes, I am of the old school. I am not a fan of satnav and like a lot of other people refer to them as pratnav! Navigation is a basic simple life skill and people who use satnav are blind to this. Once you develop the skill to read and understand maps, you have it for life, just like the ability to swim. Reading maps and signposts is not difficult and primary school children should be able to do it. People who use satnav leave their common sense and awareness back at home. They do not think where they are going but act like a robot which also leads to poor driving standards. I do not need an expensive electronic gadget to navigate my way around. I don't have to keep buying maps either, just put streetmap into my browser and look at an excellent map free-of-charge. If it is a really difficult journey I can even print pages off for nothing! Like Brian writes there are "some very nice old men with dogs" and I am sure that I can offer some good guidance when I am approached whilst walking Barney!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

So, let's get this right, you publish a manifesto, get elected into government and then introduce measures that were not in your manifesto!

Okay, this does not apply to me but this issue simply stinks. David Cameron was forced yesterday to apologise to voters for breaking an election promise with his decision to withdraw child benefit from 1.2 million higher-rate taxpayers. "We did not outline all those cuts, we did not know exactly the situation we were going to inherit," he told ITV news. "But I acknowledge this was not in our manifesto. Of course I am sorry about that."

Cameron made his comments in the face of growing unease on his own backbenches at the anomalies thrown up by the blanket withdrawal of child benefit from anyone earning more £43,875. The cut will mean a loss of £1,055 a year for one-child families and almost £2,500 for those with three children.

I thought that we lived in a democracy where a party publishes a manifesto and if they get elected, they carry out the pledges in that manifesto. The Conservatives have acted disgustingly by carrying out policies that were not in their manifesto. If a retailer was advertising a product that did not do what it said on the box then they would find themselves in court by the Trading Standards departments. Yet what does David Cameron do - he simply says "sorry about that". This to my mind is fraud and David Cameron is simply one dodgy dealer. Still, the country decided to vote in a liar and those high earning Conservative voters with children get what they deserve!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Stagecoach double-decker bus rally .

Looking at the BBC News website I notice that the Stagecoach double-decker bus rally at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport has now finished. United States captain Corey Pavin paid tribute to his players after their slender 14½-13½ defeat in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. The Ryder Cup Wales 2010 decided to hold this bus rally at The Celtic Manor Resort, City of Newport, on September 28-October 3. For safety and security reasons there was no access to The Celtic Manor Resort for private vehicles, taxis or pedestrians during the period of the rally.

There were two Park and Ride sites in place for The Celtic Manor Resort. One was situated at Tredegar House (West Park and Ride) reached by exiting at Junction 30 of the M4 and the other at Llanwern (East Park and Ride) reached by exiting at Junction 23A of the M4. Spectators planning to attend the rally had to purchase a valid car park pass for their vehicle in advance of each day of attendance to gain access to the Park and Ride sites. Journey time from each Park and Ride site was estimated to be 20 minutes.

All spectators travelling by car or coach had to use the dedicated Park and Ride sites. Spectators were encouraged to car share with the price of a "Transportation Pass" being charged per vehicle not per person at £20 per day which includes the shuttle service between the Park and Ride locations and The Celtic Manor Resort.

Buses ran from Tuesday - Sunday of the event week from 6am until 9.30pm. Stagecoach held this rally at the beautiful Celtic Manor Resort where some sad people visit to watch men try to hit a ball with a stick. Preparations for this bus rally started really early as you can see by this Press Release issued by Stagecoach on the 14th January 2010. It is estimated that approximately 25,000 to 30,000 people were carried each day on the Stagecoach services. Stagecoach in South Wales provided a fleet of 150 double decker buses to and from the East and West Ryder Cup Park and Ride sites, located just off the M4 motorway at Llanwern and Tredegar Park respectively, during the week of the event. In addition bus services transported marshals and stewards from the Usk Showground site.
John Gould, Managing Director of Stagecoach in South Wales said: “We will be calling on the significant resources of the 19 regional companies within our UK Bus division"

I was not able to visit the Stagecoach double-decker bus rally as I was working. I did notice driving along the M4 motorway that there were a lot of Stagecoach double-decker buses from all around the country. As John Gould said in the Press Release “We will be calling on the significant resources of the 19 regional companies within our UK Bus division" - and true to his word I spotted lots of deckers from faraway. All the regional trading names were proudly displayed. I even spotted one double-decker that had been driven down all the way from Lincolnshire!

I think the Stagecoach double-decker bus rally must have gone really well, although it did rain rather heavily at times. The rain got so bad at one stage that the men trying to hit a ball with a stick gave their silly game up for the day! Still, I am sure it was a great family day-out and a good time was had by all at this bus rally. Sadly I can't find any photographs of this bus rally yet on the internet. What I did find on my search were photographs of a bus rally in 2006 that was also popular with men trying to hit a ball with a stick!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

All that twitters may not be real!

Twitter is becoming a very popular forum for both individuals and companies to broadcast short messages of up to 140 characters to the general public. People enjoy this constant stream of rapid and up to date information. People also take this information in good faith. But when I read this story on the Daily Telegraph website , I laughed my socks off!

Pranksters who created a Twitter account posing as a bus company have confused passengers by announcing fake cancellations and warning that overweight travellers would be charged double. The messages, purporting to come from Birmingham based National Express, claiming that some services would be diverted because of rioting peasants. One tweet from the account account Travel_WM read: "Probably going to start charging fatties double. Most of you take up more room than 2 people so it's still pretty fair." And other bizarre messages that followed warned commuters not to expect their usual buses to turn up because of riots - and even because it was too wet for drivers to go out. Tweets read: "X62 service diverted around Northfield and Rubery until Sunday night due to rioting peasants." Another message reads: "Well this rain's pretty bad isn't it?! Think we may cancel services tonight so our drivers can all come in and dry off a bit."

I think this Travel West Midlands spoof twitter site is a hoot! I think the tweets are very witty with a lovely dark humour. My favourite at a glance so far is...

Whole office trying to some up with a new company slogan. Mine was "YOU DONT HAVE A FUCKING CHOICE" but apparently its too edgy....
Tue Sep 28 2010 07:23:12 (GMT Daylight Time) via web

...This spoof twitter site is great and so much better than the Official National Express Travel West Midlands twitter site. Still, I wish the spoof twitter site a great success. I wonder who is behind this spoof twitter site? My guess is that it could simply be anybody from a transport enthusiast to a comedy writer. It may even be a rival bus company in the West Midlands!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Get off my trousers, go away! .

On my rest break in London this morning, I walked along to Hyde Park . It is a short walk from London Victoria Coach Station and it is a very pleasant park to sit in for my official rest period. I sat on a bench and put my bag down to enjoy my refreshment. I get out my spoon and opened my Mango, Papaya and Passion Fruit yogurt. Then I spotted squirrels running towards me. They look up at me and my yogurt. One squirrel gets on the leg of my trousers and runs up on top of my knee and looks me in the eye. "Go away!" I instruct the squirrel. The squirrel ignores me, so I repeat my instruction.

As Brendan Routledge , the owner of the above image states "Squirrels are a common sight in Hyde Park and have become almost tame and take very little notice of the thousands of tourists wandering by." Well, this squirrel was very tame and mistook me for a tourist rather than a hungry coach driver. Still, the squirrels run around me, my trousers, my legs and the bench I was sitting on. The squirrels slowly begin to understand that they are getting no food off me and eventually run away. Some tourists walk along and the squirrels are back, all over me and the tourists. This time the foreign tourists have food for the squirrels, nuts and cereal which makes all the squirrels very happy. The tourists walk on and the squirrels ignore me and retreat back into the trees.

So now it is time to get the book I am reading at the moment from my bag. Trouble is, the squirrels spot me taking my book out of my bag and back they come. Once again the squirrels run around me, my trousers, my legs and the bench I was sitting on. A squirrel sits on my knee and engages eye contact. I tell the squirrel "Go away, this is a book, you can't eat it, leave me alone, it is just a book." The squirrel just sits there on my knee, pleading with it's eyes. I repeat my instruction to the squirrel and open my book and ignore it. The squirrel eventually gets bored and runs off leaving me in peace to enjoy my book.

The squirrels in Hyde Park are very tame and trusting. If you sit down before the tourists arrive, they will badger you for food. Hyde Park is a great place for a picnic in London and you will never be lonely!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Motorway shut for nearly five hours for one nutter.

What is wrong with turning a blind-eye? Since the Tories messed around with the National Health Service and sent the mentally handicapped out of hospital, nutters have been causing havoc within the community. Oh, let's put the nutters back in the community was the bright idea then from the cost-cutting Tories.

Today the M4 motorway was closed between junctions 14 and 15 in both directions for nearly five hours. The Police took this decision to close the motorway whilst they tried to persuade a man not to jump from a bridge over the motorway near Membury Services. Police later confirmed that nobody was hurt in the incident but a man in his 40s has been detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

So everybody's journey was severely delayed in case this nutter jumped off a bridge. Some people will decide to commit suicide and that is there choice, regardless of their state of mind. People have their own choices to make but the Police closing the motorway for nearly five hours restricted the choice and freedoms of thousands. This seems grossly unfair to me. If the nutter wants to jump let him do it because he will only do it once and then we can all get on with our lives.

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